tv Lockup World Tour MSNBC December 15, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
>> the pressers in on death row stood against the wall. the firing squad stood here. but now for the first time, a lockup crew travels to eastern europe and goes behind the wall of six maximum security prisons. >> there was a moment there where it was like, wait a second. this is a little different. [ chanting ] >> it's one of europe's oldest
cities, with a history scarred by war. it was invaded not once but twice by attila the hun. even today its ministry of defense building stands in ruins from nato bombings in 1999. this is belgrade. capital city of serbia. less than two miles from the city center, serbia's largest and most infamous prison. centrale socmore. known locally as cz. >> my parents are from belgrade so there was a bit more emotion going to a prison in serbia than say other prisons around the world. cz has an ominous reputation for serbs. it's where inmates went in, and then you'd never see them again. >> cz opened its doors in 1950 and has housed countless political prisoners, including opponents of the late serbian president slobodan milosevic.
many were still there when milosevic himself was incarcerated here in 2001, while awaiting trial for corruption and war crimes. today it houses some of the nation's most dangerous criminals. including the assassin of a former serbian prime minister. >> translator: they have committed all kinds of criminal offenses. basically every criminal offense on the books. these include organized crimes, war crime and other serious criminal offenses such as homicide. >> like american prisons, cz faces the problems of overcrowding. but serbia incarcerates a much smaller portion of its citizens. one out of nearly every 700 versus one out of every 130 in the united states. >> at the moment, a total of 1,200 inmates are being held here which is 2 1/2 times more than the prison's actual capacity. >> while some parts of cz have been modernized, much of the prison shows signs of age of one especially haunting section is
completely abandoned behind locked doors. the execution chamber. >> we went down probably three, four stories underground to an area best described kind of like a scene out of "aliens." >> they literally have puddles of the water on the ground and they have boards that are slightly elevated. and you kind of do a balancing act to cross these boards down this old corridor. and then you just come upon an open room with a wall. >> translator: we are currently in a room where executions used to be carried out. prisoners on death row stood by the wall.
the firing squad stood here. >> translator: it had a squad of ten executioners. some of whom had loaded weapons while others did not. the execution squad fired at the inmate. traces of wooden plank that's were used to prevent bullets from ricocheting are still visible on the wall. the prisoner on death row spent his last days and hours in these rooms here. >> i've been inside a lot of prisons and certainly i've been to death row and have been to other areas that have kind of a heavy, heavy feel to them. but i've never been in an environment like this where you just were overpowered with a sense of death, you know. we knew we were walking in a place where lots of people had died. >> today the death penalty is outlawed in serbia. and the final execution in this chamber occurred in 1989. back aboveground, our crew discovered sights that compared to american prisons were at once familiar and foreign.
>> the first thing that jumped out at me and the crew was the fact that all the inmates seemed to be wearing personal clothes. no prison issue uniforms whatsoever. that was a little jarring. the staff kind of going along the lines of the militaristic style, they were all in very distinct uniforms. the staff members would encounter each other. they would stop, salute and shake hands. each and every time. there was this military formality about how they greeted each other throughout the day. >> one of the things that stood out to me in this facility was all the inmates that smoke. it's everywhere. everybody is smoking. most prisons in the u.s. having very tight designated smoking areas, or eliminating tobacco altogether. seeing eight guys, you know, next to each other all smoking at the same time, and filming in this environment, that was a little tough sometimes. >> the yards in an american
prison are very active. you go out there and you see guys lifting weights, playing all sorts of games. the yard at cz was a shocking contrast. it almost looked like a tenement building area. it was this concrete square block area, and all the guys can do out there is play soccer. that -- that basically is their recreation. that's their yard. >> but when it comes to contraband, we could have been in any u.s. prison. >> translator: the biggest problem we're dealing with are drugs and inmates bringing in cell phones. >> translator: we are about to
witness a routine search indy tension cells. two teams of security officers are conducting a search. one is directly involved in searching the cells and the items found in the cells while the other teamed, so the called intervention team, provides back jump. >> officers quickly discover what appears to be a pair of shanks, a cause for alarm in american prisons, but apparently not a big concern here. >> sit a weapon against somebody? >> translator: while such incidents are rare, it does not mean it could not happen. many of them use it to cut things, such as food. >> a lot of these guys have food that are brought in to them by their visitors. they use it to cut up their vegetables and the meats they have. so it wasn't a big deal. >> but when it comes to security, the rules are unbendable. >> the warden of cz had a background in military. he was actually a high ranking member of the special forces. he carried himself like a military man. and i was very surprised when i asked the warden what the inmate on staff, the assault stats
were. >> translator: in the six years that i have been the warden here, we have not had any such cases. it might seem improbable to you but we did not have any such cases. i put a lot of stress on the prison staff treating the inmates decently and the inmates strictly observing house rules. so if anything happens, it's sporadic. we really do not have many problems here. >> i remember my first day when i come here, it's for me like a horror movie. but, it's okay. >> we met one english speaking inmate who agreed that the staff does what it can to make life here tolerable. serving six months for a white collar crime, he asked to remain anonymous. >> we are small country. we are not rich country like america or like england. this condition for our country is okay. it could be better, but it's okay, this prison experience. i'm going to be another man. i'm going to be looking about freedom in another way.
to appreciate freedom. to appreciate to walk in the park. to drink coke. to see birds sky. freedom is freedom. that's all. >> while cz's urban setting and concrete surroundings make some long for simple pleasures, our crew headed deeper into serbia and found a prison that except for the razor wire was almost a natural paradise. [ male announcer ] we all make bad decisions. like say, gas station sushi. cheap is good. and sushi, good. but cheap sushi, not so good. it's like that super-low rate on not enough car insurance. pretty sketchy. ♪ and then there are the good decisions. like esurance. their coverage counselor tool helps you choose the right coverage for you at a great price.
inmates. some 1,500 in all. it would also prove to be one of the most unique prisons ever profiled on lockup. >> translator: we have inmates who have committed some of the worst crimes and have received the longest and most severe punishments. these include inmates who are perceived to be dangerous by other facilities, a threat to inmates and security personnel alike. >> zabela, was built for 800 inmates but now houses more than 1300. the inmates considered the most dangerous of all are housed in this unit. it is called seventh block. >> translator: there are other housing units here. they call this building a prison within a prison. >> vladimir pejdo is serving four years for theft. he says he's housed here because of conflicts with other inmates. >> translator: well, i had some problems when i was in general population since there are a lot of bad people here. there are a lot of what we call rats. if i had stayed there, i could have ended up with six more months in prison. nowadays, if you break
somebody's nose or jaw, they immediately give you more time in prison without any discussion. >> but it's outside of seventh block in the general population area that the uniqueness of zabela is most obvious. >> you walk out into this courtyard that was beautiful. they had this very large fountain. and i was a little shocked, turned my head and saw peacocks. on the yard. the prison yard itself. the further we got actually onto the prizren grounds, everywhere you looked there were birds. >> then you look a little closer and you see flowers. beautiful flowers in bloom. and gardening. inmates planting other plants. laundry hanging out. and it is almost soothing when you walk through there. >> chickens, peacocks, all these birds that you would never think
would be living here. how are they here? >> translator: we breed those. they aren't wild birds. >> does it have a positive effect on the prison? >> >> translator: yes, of course. >> how about for the staff? >> translator: on them, too. animals, nature in general, are pleasant to look at. >> peacocks are one thing. but later on the tour we were blown away by what we saw next. >> we want to see their yard, where the guys exercise. and at first, you know, i saw weights. but i'm used to seeing that in every prison. and then there's this beautiful pool. this olympic size pool that the inmates swim in. >> have you been in any other prisons? >> translator: yes, yes. >> do they all have pools? >> translator: no, no. >> just here? >> translator: yes. >> you would never see this in an american prison. it is too easy for an inmate to drown another inmate or hurt a staff member.
you're not going to see it. i was stunned by that. >> and the unusual sights of zabela have apparently only just begun. >> we were on our way up front and i noticed a long line of inmates. they all had their bags, whatever. and i asked the guy, what's going on here? they explained that some of these guys have the privilege and the right to go home for the weekend. >> the doors open, out they go. they went right out into a parking lot. either family members, friends were picking them up in cars, they were jumping into cabs and taking off for their weekend passes. >> the men are all trusted to come back on their own. according to the prison it's only rarely that one doesn't come back. but of all the surprises our crew discovered at zabela, it was their second encounter with seventh block inmate vladimir pejdo that proved the most surprising of all. he was on his way to a conjugal visit with his wife, alexandra. >> translator: it's a private visit between me and her and nobody else. we can spend three hours together. >> just a few of the american
prisons profiled on "lockup" allow conjugal visits. usually overnight stays between well-behaved inmates and their spouses. what made this visit so unusual, however, was that alexandra is not only vladimir's wife but his partner in crime. she is currently incarcerated at a serbian women's prison and was transported to zabela for the visit. >> it's a nice privilege for somebody locked up. >> translator: it's not a privilege. it's their right. the right of every prisoner who has a spouse. >> translator: well, i feel good about it. but i also have cold feet. it's hard to explain. i sometime wonder if she even wants to see me again. i mean, i don't know. it's hard to put into words, but i'm happy about it. >> finally, vladimir and alexandra are reunited.
though zabela was like no prison we've ever seen, the warden claims the unusual atmosphere here is effective. >> translator: it was a conscious decision. the area you've seen didn't exist before. we renovated it. as for the park, the sports facility, we built all that to make the serving of sentences here easier. i must say that we haven't had any major problems so far. there is only sporadic violence but no large scale problems no, large scale violence. coming up next on "lockup: world tour," one of the newest and most high-tech maximum security prisons in eastern europe. it's built to house not only killers and kidnappers, but the leaders of poland's organized crime rings. to the best vacation spot on earth.
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inmates, including some of the most dangerous in poland. >> i mean, you walk through those gates, you're surrounded by just everything latest, greatest, high tech security, pretty amazing, actually. most high-tech facility i've ever been in. they were very proud of it. very proud of the technology. >> even our crew was subjected to the prison's stringent security measures. scott is our audio technician. like all visitors, he must first pass through a state-of-the-art x-ray scanning machine used to prevent smuggling. >> translator: this device is used on persons visiting dangerous inmates and inmates that were before incarceration exposed to drugs. this device is very accurate, but also very safe.
it detects organic and nonorganic objects hidden on a person and inside the person, money, cell phones, drugs, in the hair, on the body, in natural cavities. we had an incident where a woman was trying to smuggle amphetamine to an inmate in her tampon, which she had inserted inside. >> but in a prison that houses what are considered some of poland's most dangerous criminals, technology is only one part of the security equation. >> translator: two inmates, members of organized crime, were communicating illegally with inmates in other recreation areas. they refused to leave the area. our negotiations with the
inmates did not succeed. that's why we made the decision to bring in an intervention unit. >> we knew before we arrived on the actual scene that it was a drill. simply a drill. but at the moment that we walked up, it was so life-like and real that we thought, wait a second. did they happen to stumble on a real situation on their way to the drill? >> they were in character. they were doing exactly as they were trained to do. and the officers that were playing the part of the inmates were not making it easy on any of these guys. they were going full bore to try to get these guys to mess up. >> it's also no coincidence that the inmates portrayed in this drill were supposed to be organized crime offenders. since the fall of communism in 1989, poland has seen a sharp uptick in organized crime, and its members are filling polish
prisons. officials say this man is the leader of an organized crime syndicate. he is serving four years for multiple offenses including the commission of murder. >> translator: if three people, just three people, commit the crime together, they are called an organized crime, a criminal group, and they get sentenced as a criminal group. >> how many people died in your case? how many people were murdered in your case? >> one. >> how was this person murdered? >> translator: the person was suffocated, strangulation. >> do you consider yourself a dangerous person? >> translator: i don't consider myself to be a dangerous person, i'm a normal person. if someone gets on my nerves, people's stupidity gets on my nerves the most, i cannot stand people's stupidity. i get upset. if something is funny, i laugh. just like any normal person. like any normal person.
i have feelings like any person. >> he just had a certain charisma about him. and a lot of inmates have been cut off from society for a long period of time. they're in a personal their interpersonal communications skills aren't that great. yatzik's were amazing. but he didn't want to get too detailed about his crime or his background in organized crime. so he kind of spoke in metaphorical responses. often quoting well known philosophers, great literary authors, which for me was a little unusual in dealing with an inmate. >> maybe i will say this. one time in the 16th century there was a polish philosopher and he said this. the law in poland is like a spider's web. a big fly will get through but a small one will get stuck. i came to a conclusion that you have to find strength within yourself. >> and he would soon show us
that strength was one thing he didn't lack. >> we were able to come back about a half an hour, 45 minutes later. and they opened up the security door and he is in there in sunglasses, a full like workout suit. he's got his water bottles all together. and the guy is -- is ripped. i mean, he is big. he's a big guy. and he makes it out, well, this is just a cell workout. this is nothing. this is all i can do right here. >> i was a little shocked by his workout outfit. again, i'm used to seeing guys in the little prison issued shorts. and he was decked out in this professional looking fitness gear. so i kind of made a joke with him. and i said you're going to get a lot of letters from female american television viewers. "lockup" viewers. which just delighted him. >> but he was clear about the one american woman who interested him the most. she's one of the stars of his favorite tv show. >> translator: wilma flintstone is my ideal woman.
>> is fred the ideal man? >> translator: no, no, fred is cool but a little infantile. coming up on "lockup: world tour" a 13th century castle in the czech republic houses an infamous lifer. >> translator: i was sentenced to life in prison for committing five murders. sure. decaf or regular? regular. cake or pie? pie. apple or cherry? cherry. ♪ oil or cream? oil or cream? cream. [ male announcer ] with reddi-wip, a slice of pie never sounded better. that's because it's always made with real cream, never hydrogenated oil like some other whipped toppings. the sound of reddi-wip is the sound of joy.
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fired at a mall in newport beach. n more news in one hour. right now we'll take you become to "lockup." 100 mile east of prague are the moravian island. # considered the green heart of the nation interesting highland consist of small villages like this. population 420. an almost equal number of men live right next door in this medieval castle. mirov prison. >> filming in mirov was extremely difficult in the sense that everywhere you turn there
is a beautiful shot and you want to stop and go oh, there's another one. get another shot. we didn't have that kind of time. we had other elements in the story to capture and different people we wanted to talk to. but you could spend all day, two days, three days, just shooting these beautiful, incredible architecture type shots. >> the nation's oldest prison, it was billed in the mid 13th century to protect the land holdings of a local bishop. it was first used as a prison in the 14th century. today, it is a maximum security institution that houses the czech republic's most notorious criminals. it has been called the czech alcatraz. >> translator: that's just because of the type of convicts that we have here in this prison. that means convicts in maximum security and those serving life sentences. as of today, we counted 163 convicts are here for murder. 87 are for assault and robbery. 20 for rape. 37 for theft. they are house in the cells holding between eight and 18 convicts. the ones sentenced to life are housed individually.
>> in the u.s. there are currently more than 140,000 inmates serving life sentences. in the czech republic, where the death penalty was banned in 1990, there are only 35 lifers. otto bitterman is one of the most infamous. >> translator: i was sentenced to life in prison for committing five murders. >> he was a notorious criminal. his case was very notorious. but to me, he was actually a very pleasant person to deal with. he was very polite. very walk. mild mannered. he was actually just a very affable guy. >> bitterman led a small gang that robbed and killed at least four men and one woman over a three-year span. >> translator: it actually started when i got into a certain gang of friends with
whom i had common interests, as far as weapons and drinking alcohol and having parties. and for things like that, of course, you need money. and, of course, as a young kid i didn't feel like working, but on the other hand i wanted to have money. >> how many people you the personally murder, otto? >> myself personally, i actually killed three people. but i participated in all five of the murders. >> bitterman buried one of the victims in his own backyard. >> translator: in a movie it looks real easy. you just hit the guy, he falls down and he's eliminated, you know. he's knocked out, so he's out of the way. you know. but in reality it's different. the guy started to fight back. and then it turned into a knife fight. then it turned into a murder. i know that people say and write
things about me. that i'm a cold-blooded murderer but there is no such thing as a cold-blooded murderer because every time when you decide to take someone else's life, it is such a mental strain on you. it's so much stress. it's so hard on your nerves. there's just no way to describe it. >> bitterman escaped execution because of the nation's decision to abolish the death penalty. instead, he will spend nearly every hour of every day confined to a cell. life for some of the general population inmates offers a little more diversity. as our crew soon discovered. >> we were actually filming in another area of the prison. and we heard some music. it took us over, and there was a heavy metal rock band in a little room rehearsing and playing. and i think that was one of the elements that the staff thought was good for the inmates. to spend time blowing off steam. >> though it's not a common sight, we visited american
prisons with band rooms, as well. but one aspect of the inmate population provided the most striking difference of all. >> the eastern european prisons, it was predominantly caucasian inmates. whereas in american prisons, there are a variety of ethnicities, a lot of tensions exist between the ethnicities. >> but only one group at mirov stands out as a minority. they're called roma. a nomadic ethnic minority that has taken root throughout eastern european nations. they're also known as gypsies, with a reputation for being con artists and thieves. pavel conja is roma and has been at mirov for 10 1/2 years for multiple counts of robbery and theft. >> translator: we don't have any rights here. there are skinheads here, fascists, we are attacked by them all the time and the government of the czech republic doesn't do anything about it. we just don't have any rights here as far as we, roma, are concerned. i'm kind of afraid of getting out because i don't know how things will go with me. >> according to him, he grew up as a gypsy, learning how to rob and be a thief and that's all he ever knew.
that basically -- he was in and out of prison a number of times. >> when we met him, pavel was only weeks away from his release date, and his prospects did not look good. >> translator: i don't know. i just don't know what's going to happen to me. my parents have died. my grandmother and grandpa, i don't have anyone. i'm an orphan. i'm 42 years old. i don't know where i will go. i don't know because here in the czech republic, there is a lot of racism and i am roma and i am afraid of coming back here. and i just don't know what i'm going to do. >> next on "lockup: world tour." >> there are probably over 1,000 people who have been tortured and executed at this prison during the various regimes. >> the prison in warsaw, poland. deals with a notorious past, and some of the country's most dangerous offenders. but you're progressive, and they're them. yes. but they're here. yes. are you...? there?
located in the heart of the nation, warsaw is the capital and largest city in poland. it is known as the phoenix city. because of a history of rising from the ashes of war and oppression over the course of centuries. on one busy downtown street is a flashpoint of warsaw's volatile past, mokotow prison. >> been to over 20 american prisons. they're usually located in remote areas far from cities for security reasons. so we're on these busy warsaw streets and we turn and these massive blue doors open up and we enter into this facility. and when we were inside and i
was standing on prison grounds, i would look up and see apartment buildings surrounding us, businesses. >> the prison was built in 1904. it used to be called the place of no return. between world war ii and the fall of communism in 1989, it housed a countless number. of freedom fighters, many of whom were tortured and killed in mass executions. the monument on the prison wall honors the victims. >> there are probably over 1,000 people who had been tortured and executed at this prison during the various regimes. there were a number of staff members who made a comment to me that they felt they've seen ghosts there, they have felt ghosts there, that there's just a weight of what has transpired at that particular prison. >> today, mokotow houses prisoners because of their crimes instead of their beliefs. it is a maximum security prison with more than 900 inmates,
including some of the most notorious in poland. but officials claim they rarely have disruptions. that might be because the prison's elite special response team is always prepared for the worst. >> we were told ahead of time that they were going to have a demonstration for us from their special response team so we set up for it and we were prepared. when it actually started, they did it with such intensity and authenticity that i was taken aback. i heard gunfire. they were screaming their commands. it was a very authentic presentation for us.
>> the prison has one other effective method of maintaining control. behind these walls are some of the most dangerous and violent prisoners in poland. they are segregated in this high security housing unit. >> translator: this is a pavilion for dangerous inmates. this is a jail inside a jail. >> "n" stands for the polish word for dangerous. ours was the first television crew ever allowed inside. >> upon entering the facility, what i noted most was the fact that i could not see any inmates. in american prisons, there is always some kind of window. even in the super maxes. they have these little peep holes the officers will look in before they opened up. that struck me as highly unusual. >> as you opened the door, there were bars. it was a two-tiered system that i hadn't seen before. the security door unlocked and then you have to unlock the bars themselves, as well. >> the solid outer doors are to prevent inmates from
communicating with one another. they rarely leave their cells. and even their meals are brought to them. but we found that the cells in "n" block differ from most american high security american cells in two especially significant ways. in american prisons, cameras are generally placed only in common areas. here they are actually inside each cell. likewise, there is one area here that offers the kind of privacy that we had never seen in the states. >> let me show you the bathroom. this is the standard bathroom for "n" unit. >> in an american prison, all the toilets are out in the open. in this prison, people could actually walk into their bathroom and shut a door and have privacy. >> translator: that's the law. >> one "n" block inmate, a 24-year-old, agreed to speak with us. he is serving a life sentence for murder and says his problems began after borrowing money from
a friend to buy drugs. >> translator: i did not have money to pay my debt. he said he would help me to pay my debt but i have to go somewhere with him. i was stupid enough to pay my debt this way. the two men attempted to burglarize a home. >> translator: my job was to search the house and not to hurt anyone. nobody was supposed to beat this man. we were supposed to search the house and it just happened. and a man is dead. the prosecution claims that i participated. that i must have hit the man as well. i was in a different section of the house. i didn't even know this man was being beaten. >> he told me that he had been suffering from depression when he first became incarcerated and he had a young child. and he had already lost two years with that young child and he was uncertain whether or not he would ever have a relationship with his own child. >> i asked myself all the time, why can't i hold my son in my arms? because my visits don't allow that. and my son tells me, daddy,
remove the bars. and he tried to get his head through. i can't hold him. i can't cuddle with him in my arms. >> outside "n" block are the general population housing units. >> one thing that i noticed that stood out was the number of inmates that were in these cells. they were almost like small dorms. sometime they would have four or five or six people in one area. >> they all had a much more homey atmosphere. there were a lot of personal effects. they had home made crochet blankets on the beds. >> but like their american counterparts, mokotow's correctional officers frequently search cells for contraband, like weapons or drugs. though the drug-sniffing dog brought in to help caught our crew by surprise. >> i'm preparing myself to see a german shepherd, rottweilers,
the types of dogs i've seen in american prisons that we are not allowed to go near. and then in comes this happy little cocker spaniel, right out of a disney movie. >> that was the drug dog. you know, not intimidating at all. you know, just -- lap dog. it was so excited. it just went into that cell and did its job. the handler was so excited. working together as a team. >> the rapport that the officer had with this dog was almost like somebody with a pet. after the search was completed, the officer then started playing with it. putting the ball in the mouth and spinning it around. this dog was just all floppy putting the ball in the mouth and spinning it around. this dog was just all floppy eared and happy. how often do you find -- >> translator: at the beginning when we got the dog, she was finding more. now there are less discoveries because inmates are more careful. >> mariusz has been especially careful. >> get packing.
>> after serving one year at mokotow for theft, we were there on the day of his release. >> translator: well, i lost 12 months, you can say. 12 months doesn't seem like a lot but it is a lot because this time has been very stressful. i feel amazing but i don't quite feel the freedom. i think that when i'm far away from here, that's when i will be certain that i am free. >> he actually walked outside, stepped outside. he was set into freedom. he walked on to this busy street in warsaw and then just disappeared in the crowd. if you had just seen him walking out the door, nobody would even think he was an inmate just released from a prison. coming up next on "lockup: world tour." >> translator: i have a daughter here because i have no one on the outside to take care of her.
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once known for artisan glass workers, the czech republic city of svetla nad sazavou is now home to the largest women's prison. named for the town, it houses 600 women. only 8% of them are convicted of violent crimes. that puts 34-year-old eraina in an even smaller minority. >> translator: i was sentenced for two murders. >> she is in the 12th year of a 21-year sentence for her role in the killings. >> translator: i was just at the
wrong place at the wrong time when -- it's very difficult, you know. >> who shot these two people? >> translator: well, in the verdict it's written that i did. so that's the end of the story. but because i'm going to get out someday, i have to come to terms with it. so that i'll be able to connect to some kind of a future. >> she is still years away from her release but is preparing for it now. she works for the prison maintenance department doing everything from mowing lawns to painting furniture. but her passion lies elsewhere. >> you can't really write some of the things that we experience in these prisons. you can't script them. because here you have a person that's been convicted of a double murder but what she does as part of her time and part of her therapy is she puts on puppet shows for children. children's theater. >> translator: these puppet shows are for the children, here
in the area, in the kindergartens. we go to the schools so we can make someone happy with them. >> comparing svetla as a free male prison to american prisons, there was a different vibe there, i have to say. i would attribute that to the warden. she was pretty focused on reintegrating these women back into society and she had different means of doing that. >> in fact, the prison director recited a long list of rehabilitative programs. more than we have ever encountered at any prison ever profiled on "lockup." >> translator: we have a family school right inside the prison. they learn the basics of home making, how to cook, there is gardening, exercise, music programs. >> but arguably the most innovative program of all is the establishment of a mother/child living unit. this special unit allows inmates with clean behavior records to live full-time with their babies between 1 and 3 years old. it holds up to 15 mothers and 20 children and is the only one of
its kind in the czech republic. >> translator: i have a daughter here, because i have no one on the outside to take care of her. i think the best thing for vanessa is to be with her mommy. >> nella is serving two years for armed robbery and related drug offenses. she was pregnant at the time of her conviction. but was allowed to delay incarceration until her daughter vanessa was a year old. six weeks later, vanessa was allowed to join her. >> i just couldn't make it without my girl. it's my first baby. i'm just so attached to her and i think it's better to raise the child here. >> women have their own rooms. a large room all decorated for a child. wearing nonprison issued clothes. it's a communal atmosphere. i think it was nella's time to
cook for everybody. some of the other kids were drifting in and were all participating. so for a brief moment, it did feel like you're outside of a prison. you're just in this lovely little environment with happy moms and babies. >> but there is also a down side. >> translator: i have a beautiful, healthy daughter, and i can't give her what i would give her outside, you know, outings, walks, and so on. it's sad in here. well, one day i'll probably have to tell her so she won't find out about it from someone else. i don't want her to have to suffer for it. >> overall, i think, shooting in eastern europe, the one common theme was rehabilitation. they seemed, the staff, the people that we talked to, seemed to really, really focus on rehabilitation of the inmates. and i think in some cases, when we visit the prisons in the united states, se